- Friends & Family
submitted by: Susanne Johnson
Ashley is 27 years old and has five months of recovery. This is not her first attempt to find sobriety. She did it before and relapsed, but she is feeling different this time. She feels great to be in recovery. She came to Atlanta to participate in the Heroes in Recovery 6K run for the first time and felt fantastic about her ability to finish the race in a good time after only a short period of recovery.
She first came in contact with drugs and alcohol at the age of 14, harder drugs followed by the age of 20, and her first attempt to get sober was at 25. She went through treatment and is now in a sober living community to gain stability in her recovery before returning home. Ashley is not married and does not have kids, but she has a cat she loves dearly. Her cat currently lives in her parents’ home while she finishes her program and starts a new life.
Pain and desperation made her decide to change something and go into a recovery program. The first time she did not put enough effort into it, and this caused her to relapse. She had enough time to glimpse a life of recovery, and after relapsing she noticed what she could have had if she had stayed sober. She asked herself, “What am I doing here?” and realized that the relapse caused her to go back to a life she didn’t want. This made her reach out again for help.
She finds it hard to give any advice to people who are still actively using since she did not listen to anybody during that time no matter what was said. She was not willing to try recovery at first, and she wants to tell other addicts and alcoholics to give it a try even if it’s only for a month. Just see what it’s like to be free of substances and in recovery, and if you don’t like it, you can go back at any time.
Ashley is very proud of the relationships she has with her family. They are all very supportive of her recovery. She does not yet have a plan for how her life will continue, but she would love to help other people in the same situation she was once in and may seek education to become a counselor.
“Stay connected and don’t isolate,” Ashley advises people in early recovery. Not doing this was a big part of her relapse. She now goes to 12-step meetings every day and finds fellowships that apply to her addictions to heroin and meth.
“I’m really so glad I’m here,” Ashley said at the end of her interview. We are looking forward to seeing her again at next year’s Heroes in Recovery 6K.